Most Idahoans believe their public schools are safe, that semi-automatic rifles should not be banned, and that arming teachers who hold concealed-weapons permits will make schools safer, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.

In a red, western state with a history of hunting and gun ownership, these results may not be too surprising

But IPW pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds some interesting breakouts among demographic groups.

For example, Idaho men and women have statistically very different views on gun control:

  • 66 percent, or two thirds, of men “strongly” or “somewhat” oppose banning of semi-automatic rifles with large clip capacity – with the idea that such a ban would make society safer from gun violence.

  • Only 36 percent of men support such gun control.

  • But 56 percent of women SUPPORT banning guns like the AR15, which has been used by various mass-shooters in recent years, including the killings of 17 in a Florida high school.

  • 41 percent of women oppose such a ban.

That is a 20-percentage point difference in support/opposition of a gun ban between the sexes in Idaho – a large variation rarely seen in public opinion polling on any subject.

But don’t expect any kind of gun control to come to the GOP-dominated Idaho.

That’s because it would need to pass in the very Republican Legislature and signed into law by a Republican governor.

And Jones finds:

  • Republicans oppose such gun control, 69-28 percent.

  • Political independents, who don’t belong to any political party, barely support banning semi-automatic rifles, 51-49 percent.

  • Democrats, on the other hand, really support such a ban, 85-14 percent; with 77 percent of Democrats “strongly” supporting banning semi-automatic rifles.

And there is quite a difference in education when it comes to this issue:

  • Those with only a high school degree oppose banning semi-automatic rifles, 54-39 percent.

  • While those with a post-college degree – like doctors, lawyers, Masters or PhDs – support such a gun ban, 61-36 percent.

Jones also asked if Idahoans believe their public schools are safe for their children to attend:

Little doubt here:

  • 75 percent say yes, only 20 percent say no.

  • Republicans say schools are safe, 81-15 percent.

  • Independents agree, 75-23 percent.

  • Even most Democrats agree, 59-37 percent.

However, there are clear partisan differences on whether public school teachers with concealed-carry permits would make a school safer or less safe if they carried their guns in school:

  • Overall, 54 percent of Idahoans say schools would be safer.

  • 26 percent said they would be less safe with armed teachers.

  • 16 percent said having teachers carry guns would make no difference.

  • While 3 percent didn’t know.

  • But 79 percent of Republicans believe schools would be safer with gun-toting teachers, 10 percent said no, and 10 percent said it wouldn’t make a difference.

  • Independents are split – 40 percent said armed teachers would make a school safer, 35 percent disagreed, and 22 percent said it wouldn’t make a difference.

  • Democrats are against it -- 58 percent said armed teachers would make schools less safe, 20 percent said schools would be safer, while 22 percent said it wouldn’t matter.

Jones polled 617 adults from Feb. 26-March 15. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percent.